KGV Issues : 2d Issues

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KGV Issues : 2d Issues


The first issue of the 2d value in the KGV issues was in 1920 with the introduction of 2d postage with an Orange colour.   Over time there were 3 dies for this value over 8 issues.  The printing method for Die 1 was with the production of electros, until the change to metal plates in 1928.  Two metal plates were produced between 1928 and 1931, Die 2 and Die 3.

Identifying the Die 1

The Die 1 can be identified automatically by colour in terms of Large Single Watermark, all such watermark are of the first die.  The bottom of the last 'E' in Pence is a clean right angle.

Identifying the Die 2

The Die 2 can be identified from the Die 1 by the extension of the vertical stroke of the last 'E' in Pence, as being slightly extended below the horizontal line of the E.

Identifying the Die 3

The Die 3 is comparatively easy to identify, the character '2' in the left and right value tablet is much thicker and more sturdy than the finely engraved '2' in both the Die 1 and Die 2.

Single Watermark, Perf 14

2d Orange Die 1 1920 - 1921

First issued in 1920 by T S Harrison, to satisfy the need for the newly introduced two penny postage letter rate on 1 October 1920. The issue was printed from electro plates made from four panes of 60 stamps giving a full sheet of 240.  

Electros 1 to 8 were used for this issue, ASC notes that there were 454,730,040 two penny orange stamps printed.

2d Red Die 1 1922 - 1923

The adoption of the standards of the Universal Postal Union in 1922 required the change of colour from Orange to Red.  The same die was used to produce new electros.

Electros 9 to 16 were manufactured for this issue, 565,930,080 stamps were printed.

2d Red Brown Die 1 1924 - 1926

Reduction of the standard letter postage rate by 1/2d required a change in the colour to comply with UPU rules.  The red colour being needed for the new 1-1/2d standard letter rate.  The red brown colour was adopted.

22,320,000 stamps were printed from the existing 11,12,15,16 electros

Small Multiple Watermark

2d Red Brown Die 1, Perf 14,  1927 - 1928

Introduction of the small multiple paper occured in 1927, the brown printing continued as before using electros 12 and 16.  Only 4,800,000 stamps were printed of this issue.

2d Chocolate Brown Die 2, Perf 13.5 x 12.5, 1928 - 1930

Recognising that the electro method of production was  not as efficient as the metal plate method, and in line with the change to metal plates for the 1-1/2d issues, a new die, Die 2, was produced.

The new die was very close to the previous die 1, the main difference is a small extension of the vertical stroke of the last E as noted above.

The format of the new plate was the standard 240 in four panes of 60.  All stamps of this issue were perforated with the new  13.5 X 12.5 machine.  16,800,000 stamps were printed as noted by ASC.

2d Scarlet Red Die 2 1930

Change in postal rate to two pence again required new issue of red colour.  Unfortunately poorly made metal printing plates were unable to stand the pace.  A new die,Die 3, was put into production within a month and replaced this issue.  43,680,000 2d red die 2 stamps were printed.

2d Scarlet Red Die 3 1930

The new die 3. distinguished by the fatter and larger digit 2 either side.  

Booklet plates were made with sets of six stamps printed upside down in order to allow folded sheets to be used in booklets. This is why there are large numbers if inverted watermarks in this issue.         

259,080,000 stamps were printed in normal sheets, 12,000,000 were printed in booklet sheets, with 50% inverted it gives 6,000,000 inverted two penny small multiple die 3.

C of A Watermark

2d Scarlet Red Die 3 1931 - 1936

This issue used the same plates as the previous issue but on the new paper, consequently displayed the same features


Kellow G (2007) Australian Commonwealth Specialists Catalogue Sections 3, 4 and 5, King George V.
Rosemblum A A (1966) The Stamps of the Commonwealth of Australia

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